Tax staff disciplined for snooping

Treasury Minister Jane Kennedy has revealed that more than 600 staff at HM
Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have been disciplined for accessing personal or
sensitive data.

In a Commons written reply, the Financial Secretary said that in many cases
the penalty for staff was dismissal.

There were 238 people disciplined in 2005, 180 in 2006, and 192 in 2007.

She was answering to a question from shadow home affairs spokesman James

Kennedy said the figures showed ‘the strength of HMRC’s disciplinary

She added that the numbers represented less than 1% of HMRC staff.

Kennedy said HMRC has a ‘strict policy forbidding staff to access customer
records unless they have a legitimate business need.

‘Breaches of this policy are taken seriously and any breach will result in
the commencement of disciplinary proceedings.

‘Each case is treated on its merits but in many cases the disciplinary
penalty for breach in dismissal.’

HMRC was formed in April 2005, when the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and
Excise departments merged.

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